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Seppi’s great escape sets up Federer clash

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Originally published on: 18/05/12 00:00

Home hope Andreas Seppi took on hero status at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia last night after saving six match points to beat Stanislas Wawrinka and reach the quarter-finals.

The 28-year-old right-hander sent the home fans into a frenzy after winning in three tie-break sets for the first time in tournament history – saving a match point at 5-6 in the second set tie-break, two at 4-5 down in the third and three in the third set tie-break.

Recently retired Ivan Ljubicic took to twitter to say “I love this sport” and posted an image of the televised match, before following up with “Grande Seppiooooooooo!!!!!!!!” after the Caldaro resident’s great escape.

The Italian, who returned to the top 30 for the first time since 2008 this week, has been in good form of late. He won his second career title at the Serbia Open earlier this month with a straight sets victory over Frenchman Benoit Paire, and has made three other quarter-finals this year, in Doha, Rotterdam and Bucharest. On Wednesday he defeated world No.9 John Isner in three sets to reach the third round in Rome for the very first time and, after his Wawrinka scalp, Seppi will face another Swiss, world No.2 Roger Federer, in the quarter-finals.

Seppi has faced Federer eight times since 2007, losing to the Swiss in straight sets on seven occasions. In their most recent meeting, in the last eight in Doha this January, Seppi forced the Bottmingen resident to go the distance before succumbing 6-3 5-7 6-4.

Federer, who has picked up titles in Rotterdam, Dubai, Indian Wells and Madrid this year, is seeking his very first title in Rome, having lost to Spaniards Felix Mantilla and Rafael Nadal in the 2003 and 2006 title matches.

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